Shelly Luckenbill (Class of 2006)
Prior to attending New England School of Law I worked as a Social Worker for the Department of Social Services in MA. I loved my job working with Department but found myself stuck and unable to further advocate for children in that position due to both the political and financial restraints within the State. I saw law school as a possible avenue to be able advocate further for children and families but I didn't yet know what the possibilities truly were.
I see Public Interest Law as an all encompassing field. To me anything that affects families and promotes change falls into the category of Public Interest. I was able to discover that there are numerous options for participating in Public Interest Law through participating in both the legal societies at New England School of Law as well as the Public Interest Clinic. I became involved with the Children's Law Society and eventually became VP and President. Probably the most personally rewarding experience from this position was putting together a panel of local judges and attorneys that work with in the Public Interest Field. The panel focused on the many ways that each member had found a way to do Public Interest work anywhere from full-time Juvenile Judges to attorneys doing pro bono domestic violence work. Through this panel alone I was able to make personal connections and also to realize that Public Interest can be achieved in many facets of the legal world.
The Public Interest Clinic at New England School of Law was two-fold for me. Not only was I able to discover that there were endless positions that promoted advocacy and community development but I also was able to work in one such place. I took a placement at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) in the Family unit. While I was there I was able to take on my own case load as a student attorney and work to help indigent domestic violence clients obtain divorces from their abusers. The work was rewarding both internally and I believe for the greater community. I am graduating New England School of Law with the desire to pursue Public Interest Law now with a better understanding of the possibilities for me to effect change.